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It's hard to measure how fast you're going through the air without being able to sample the air. Pitot tubes are just the tubes that bring the air to the inside of the plane to be sampled; nothing more.

I mean, I know the physics behind pitot tubes, but I wonder if we'll come up with a better way of measuring this. Something like measuring deflections of a thousand tiny rods on the plane skin. Still vulnerable to icing and other mechanical damage, I suppose.

Maybe we'll just have really accurate GPS and beam external local instantaneous wind-speed measurements to the plane.


But, what would be taking those hyperlocal windspeed measurements--at the same altitude and within a mile or two? I can't think of any way at all to accomplish this short of a satellite with an incredible new method to measure many slices of moving air.


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